Michigan Football Tidbits: Spring Practice Report (Posted Mar. 19, 2009)
Another practice went by with shorts and helmets—no hitting. They probably will not scrimmage until Saturday. Spring is a time where kids compete.
These kids have raised their stock (good thing)
Evans: Maybe this is the year.
Herron: Has size and talent, so let us hope he finds a place.
Patterson: Is obviously in shape.
Webb: Seems to be interested early on.
Sagesse: This year's Kates, and is in decent shape considering.
B. Smith: Besides Koger, he is the most impressive looking athlete.
Fitzgerald: Looks like a year in the weight room has paid off.
Those who are just okay (not much change)
Ezeh: Every spring he seems to start slow.
Matthews: Green shirt again (which means not much contact).
Boo Boo: Needs to learn the fundamentals, fundamentals, and fundamentals.
Stonum: Only because expectations are so high on him.
Couple of other tidbits
When information is leaked out, do not pay much attention to depth charts. Coach Rod has to put players out on "so-called" first unit just to run plays. Of course, the early first team depth on offensive line is the upperclassmen. Do not read anything into spring depth charts.
Here is one of my biggest beefs: There is just nobody on the existing team that seems to be one of those high intensity workers. Leadership at that position has been lacking (yeah, yeah, we agree that the quarterback situation has not been great). There are never any reports of any of those kids spending extra time in the film room, going all out when running dummy routes, etc....
As we have reported, this is probably why there seems to be a huge emphasis on wide receiver recruiting for the 2010 recruiting class.
Some of these kids are young (i.e. Stonum). We all remember the trials of Edwards in his early years. He was in the doghouse for good reason, but Edwards had one big advantage that others like Stonum do not have right now—a father who was local, close enough to keep his boot on his son's ass.
Rogers has been the closest thing to being considered a dedicated kid, with, maybe, Roundtree next. We're just waiting for the light to come on in the others right now.
Slot receivers are harder to judge. They only have three slots right now with Clemons hurt: Feagin, T-Rob, and Odoms. All three are doing fine, but they're young, so it's hard for them to take on a leadership role.
Odoms is a tough kid, but somewhat limited in overall talent. T-Rob is the quickest kid on the team. And Feagin is just learning the position. So right now, it's hard to say what we've got. We can better judge them after pads are on and scrimmages are done.
Just another early observation: It just seems like Coach Smith is much more involved this year. He has been very vocal early on, so maybe the staff is just now getting comfortable. Last year at practices you hardly even noticed him unless he walked right by you.
There were some comments made to the team recently about off-field activities—not suitable for family audiences. Coach Rod sent a message—loud and clear—to the team. We believe they got the message, though some might still be blushing.
Saturday looks to be the first scrimmage.
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